• ITC's e-Choupal Ecosystem - Making agriculture profitable & empowering 4 million farmers across 10 states

India's Challenge

Indian farmers, especially small and marginal ones, must fight challenges on multiple fronts. When growing crops, poor soil, lack of irrigation and volatile weather are constant hurdles, made worse by climate change. Modern agricultural practices and techniques are difficult to access as are credit, high quality agri-inputs, etc.

Once crops are ready, inefficient price and weather discovery mechanisms mean that farmers cannot time harvests to get best prices. Marketing, storage, logistic infrastructure are exceedingly inadequate. The deep disconnect from the market prevents them from being able to align their crops to rapidly evolving consumer preferences.

ITC's Contribution

In a pioneering move, ITC set up village internet kiosks - e-Choupals - which made real-time, up-to-date, relevant information on weather, price discovery, agri knowhow and best practices, etc readily available. The kiosks are managed by trained local farmers who help the local agricultural community to access the information in their local language.

With appropriate knowledge and services available virtually at the farm gate, farmers have been able to raise productivity, improve quality, manage risk and earn better prices. By creating a more efficient marketing channel, e-Choupal reduces transaction costs and helps farmers to adjust/fine-tune crops types and qualities to changing trends.

The largest internet-based intervention in rural India, e-Choupal has grown into an ecosystem of services that addresses diverse rural needs, from agri-extension and other farm-related offerings to retail avenues to insurance and healthcare.

ITC's e-Choupal Ecosystem

Creating collaborative partnerships to build an effective Agri ecosystem

Farmers
mainly Small &
Marginal

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Primary Beneficiaries, Key Decision-makers, Co-creators (portal design, service offerings)

Sanchalak
Lead Farmer

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Beneficiary, Facilitator - bridge between ITC and user farmers

Academic /
Technical
Institutes

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Partners in providing content for e-Choupal portal & various service offered through ecosystem

ITC

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Facilitator, R&D, Programme Design, Funding, Monitoring & Evaluation

Strategies and Key Interventions
  • Providing farmers with easy access to real-time, relevant information
  • e-Choupal Village internet kiosks
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    e-Choupal Village internet kiosks

    Information on price, weather, agri knowhow, best crop practices and latest agronomic techniques provided in local languages through ITC's dedicated website

    Kiosk managed by lead farmer - 'sanchalaks' who are trained to help their fellow farmers access the information and services offered free to all

    1 kiosk typically serves about 500 farmers in 10 villages in a radius of about 5 kms

    Farmers using kiosks are able to aggregate demand to obtain higher quality inputs at lower costs - especially beneficial for smaller farmers

  • Raising agri competencies through knowledge and technology transfer
  • Choupal Pradarshan Khet Demo plots,
    farmer field schools, customised solutions
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    Choupal Pradarshan Khet Demo plots, farmer field schools, customised solutions

    Promote best practices and give farmers easy access o expert advice from agricultural professionals so that solutions can be tailored to local conditions

    Enable farmers to raise crop productivity and quality, optimise natural resource usage and align produce to market demands - making farming more profitable and sustainable

  • Bringing appropriate farm and non-farm services close to farmer's doorstep
  • Choupal Saagar Procurement-cum-retail hubs
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    Choupal Saagar Procurement-cum-retail hubs

    Offer multiple services under one roof:

    ITC's procurement and storage facilities

    retail space for agricultural equipment and personal consumption products

    insurance counters

    pharmacy and health centres

    agri-extension clinics

    fuel stations

  • Expanding choice & services for evolving rural customers
  • Choupal Haat & Mahotsav
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    Choupal Haat & Mahotsav

    Events modeled on the lines of village markets and fairs - stalls, interactive games and competitions, product sampling, etc

    Forum for ITC and other companies to communicate the value and benefits of their brands and services

    Swasthya Choupal
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    Swasthya Choupal

    Healthcare services focus on: family planning, diarrhoea prevention & management, menstrual hygiene, sanitation and general nutrition

    Implemented through partnerships with reputed organisations that assure credibility and quality

    Operates through a network of Village Health Champions (VHCs) - local women trained to provide these services

    VHCs earn supplementary income and promote positive behavioural change in their communities

ITC Brands